RSS Content

Americans’ Well-Being Continues to Improve, According to New Data

April 2012 Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index® Shows Increases in Emotional Health, Healthy Behaviors, Access to Basic Necessities and Life Evaluation

WASHINGTON & NASHVILLE, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May. 16, 2012-- Americans' overall well-being reached 70.0 in April, a 20-month high, according to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index® (WBI). This increase was influenced by positive movement in the Emotional Health, Healthy Behaviors, Basic Access and Life Evaluation Indices.

The Emotional Health Index, a composite of Americans' daily experiences, jumped to 79.9, the highest score recorded since the inception of the WBI in 2008. This increase was driven in part by the percentage of Americans who "experienced enjoyment a lot of the day yesterday" (85.6 percent).

The Basic Access Index, which measures consumer access to basic necessities, improved to 82.6, its highest point since July 2010. This was fueled by an increase in the percentage of Americans stating that their "city or area was getting better" (58.7 percent) and those who reported "feeling safe walking alone at night" (72.3 percent).

"It's promising to see the overall well-being of America continue to improve," said Ben R. Leedle Jr., Healthways president and CEO. "These results underscore the need for America to focus its energy and resources on the many areas of well-being to improve the overall health of its people, which in turn will boost productivity and curb healthcare costs."

Other key findings:

  • The Life Evaluation Index, measuring how Americans rate their current life and anticipated future life situations, increased to 50.4, its highest score since 2011. This improvement was driven in part by an increase in the percentage of Americans who were thriving, which rose from 53.3 in March to 53.7 in April.
  • The Healthy Behavior Index, measuring lifestyle habits, rose to 64.9, up 3.9 points since December. The percentage of Americans who exercised 30 minutes at least three days in the last week increased from 53.3 in March to 53.9 in April, while 58.4 percent of Americans ate at least five servings of fruits and vegetables four times in the last week. This was an increase of more than one percentage point since March.
  • The Physical Health Index, analyzing the nation's physical health, essentially remained flat with a score of 76.8 compared to 76.7 in March.
  • The Work Environment Index, which measures workers' job satisfaction among other things, declined to 47.5 from last month's score of 48.5.

To download the full April report, click here.

For more on the science and methodology behind the WBI, please visit

About Healthways (NASDAQ: HWAY)

Healthways is the largest independent global provider of well-being improvement solutions. Dedicated to creating a healthier world one person at a time, the Company uses the science of behavior change to produce and measure positive change in well-being for our customers, which include employers, integrated health systems, hospitals, physicians, health plans, communities and government entities. We provide highly specific and personalized support for each individual and their team of experts to optimize each participant's health and productivity and to reduce health-related costs. Results are achieved by addressing longitudinal health risks and care needs of everyone in a given population. The Company has scaled its proprietary technology infrastructure and delivery capabilities developed over 30 years and now serves approximately 40 million people on four continents. Learn more at

About Gallup

Gallup has studied human nature and behavior for more than 75 years. Gallup's reputation for delivering relevant, timely, and visionary research on what people around the world think and feel is the cornerstone of the organization. Gallup employs many of the world's leading scientists in management, economics, psychology, and sociology, and our consultants assist leaders in identifying and monitoring behavioral economic indicators worldwide. Gallup consultants help organizations boost organic growth by increasing customer engagement and maximizing employee productivity through measurement tools, coursework, and strategic advisory services. Gallup's 2,000 professionals deliver services at client organizations, through the Web, at Gallup University's campuses, and in more than 40 offices around the world. For more information, please visit

Source: Healthways

Kelly Motley, 615-614-4984
Lauren Kannry, 202-715-3050